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Karten’s “GRAVITY” Is Another Retro Take on Modern Cinema

In response to Harvey S. Karten’s 615‑word review of Gravity on Compuserve

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By now, Karten has established himself as a retro chic film critic, a sort of Wes Anderson of movie reviews. Where Anderson traffics in warm colors and nostalgic soundtracks, though, Karten’s modus operandi is using the ugly, amateurish web design of yesteryear.

His review “GRAVITY” follows the standard Karten template: posted in a Compuserve forum adorned with the Netscape logo (if you thought Netscape had long ago passed from this world, you’re certainly not alone).

As for the content of “GRAVITY,” it’s not a whole lot less amateurish than the review’s layout. The opening paragraph is a series of hypothetical questions, which is not exactly a confident and assertive way to start things off.

There is the reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey, which it seems must have been codified into law as a requirement of all Gravity reviews. There is a major plot spoiler masked with an unconvincing equivocation. And most damningly, there is precious little insight into the film itself.

For readers who long for the days when websites were simple and functional as a direct result of being accessed through a 28. 8 kbps modem, “GRAVITY” is a good way to shake off that nostalgia with a sobering dose of reality. For those looking for a confident, compelling movie review, this isn’t it.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation